Measure for Measure

How appropriate is the title "Measure for measure"

when a person commits a crime he or she should be made to pay.

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Source and Meaning of Title

The title of the play appears to come from a biblical passage: With what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again (Matt: 7: 2-3). In other words, what you do unto others, they will do unto you. This is the lesson that Angelo learns. The words of the title are spoken by Duke Vincentio when he condemns Angelo in Act V, Scene I. The lines are as follows:

The very mercy of the law cries out

Most audible, even from his proper tongue,

'An Angelo for Claudio, death for death!'

Haste still pays haste, and leisure answers leisure;

Like doth quit like, and MEASURE still FOR MEASURE.

Then, Angelo, thy fault's thus manifested;

Which, though thou wouldst deny, denies thee vantage.

We do condemn thee to the very block

Where Claudio stoop'd to death, and with like haste.

Away with him! (5. 1. 415-424)


what you do unto others shall be done unto you


measure for measure

How appropriate is the title "Measure for measure"?.